Wednesday, Jun 07th

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Trump to make virtual court appearance so judge can ensure he understands protective order


Former President Donald Trump will appear, virtually, in a Manhattan court Tuesday so a judge can ensure he understands the terms of a protective order imposed in the criminal case against him.

Trump, who last month pleaded not guilty in a New York City courtroom to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to a 2016 hush money payment, is prohibited from sharing on social media any evidence turned over by the Manhattan district attorney during discovery.


Prosecutors Sought Records on Trump’s Foreign Business Deals Since 2017

Trum probe deepens to his business records since 2017

Federal prosecutors overseeing the investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s handling of classified documents have issued a subpoena for information about Mr. Trump’s business dealings in foreign countries since he took office, according to two people familiar with the matter.

It remains unclear precisely what the prosecutors were hoping to find by sending the subpoena to Mr. Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, or when it was issued. But the subpoena suggests that investigators have cast a wider net than previously understood as they scrutinize whether he broke the law in taking sensitive government materials with him upon leaving the White House and then not fully complying with demands for their return.


School may have violated students’ rights with book removals: Education Department

OCR says Ga. school may have violated civil rightsThe Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on Friday announced that a Georgia school district may have violated students’ civil rights by removing books that contained characters who were people of color or LGBTQ.

The office said it concluded its investigation into Forsyth County School District after the school put restrictions on more than a dozen books in 2022 due to parents’ complaints. The department interviewed staff from the school, reviewed meetings regarding the book removals and looked through documents from the district and parents.


The Supreme Court Is Hiding Important Decisions From You

SC is hiding decisions

As the Supreme Court begins to release its written opinions from its most recent term, much of the public’s attention is focused on high-profile cases on affirmative action, election law and environmental regulation. But according to Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas Law School, this narrow focus on the most headline-grabbing decisions overlooks a more troubling change in the High Court’s behavior: The justices are conducting more and more of the court’s most important business out of the public eye, through a procedural mechanism known as “the shadow docket.”

Quantitatively speaking, cases arising from the shadow docket — which include everything apart from the court’s annual average of 60 to 70 signed decisions — have long made up a majority of the justices’ work. But as Vladeck documents in his new book, The Shadow Docket, published this week, the court’s use of the shadow docket changed dramatically during the Trump years, when the court’s conservative majority used a flurry of emergency orders — unsigned, unexplained and frequently released in the middle of the night — to greenlight some of the Trump administration’s most controversial policies.


Federal inquiry details abuses of power by Trump's CEO over Voice of America

VOA abuses

On the day after his confirmation as chief executive of the U.S. Agency for Global Media in June 2020, Michael Pack met with a career employee to discuss which senior leaders at the agency and the Voice of America should be forced out due to their perceived political beliefs.

"Hates Republicans," the employee had written about one in a memo. "Openly despises Trump and Republicans," they said of another. A third, the employee wrote, "is not on the Trump team." The list went on. (Firing someone over political affiliation is typically a violation of federal civil service law.)

Within two days, Pack was examining ways to remove suspect staffers, a new federal investigation found. The executives he sidelined were later reinstated and exonerated by the inspector general's office of the U.S. State Department. Pack ultimately turned his attention to agency executives, network chiefs, and journalists themselves.


Abortion battles fuel push against ballot measures

Abortion battle fuels push against ballot measures

After a string of defeats at the ballot in red and purple states in the 2022 election, a growing number of GOP-controlled state legislatures and anti-abortion groups are pushing back.

They are working to restrict or even ban citizen-led ballot initiatives, which have been used by progressive groups to bypass conservative lawmakers.

Some of the proposals set new requirements for signature gathering, making it more difficult to put a question on the ballot. Others would raise the passage threshold to 60 percent or higher, rather than a simple majority.

The pushback has been building for several years, as voters tried to circumvent GOP opposition to policies like Medicaid expansion, marijuana legalization, family leave and mandatory minimum wage.


Prosecutors threaten new charges against Allen Weisselberg — unless he flips on Trump

Allen Weisselberg

The Manhattan District Attorney's office is considering pressing new charges against one of former President Donald Trump's longtime allies, 75-year-old Allen Weisselberg, including one for perjury, sources with knowledge of the matter told The New York Times.

The threat comes after D.A. Alvin Bragg unveiled an indictment of the former president in March, marking the newest effort in his campaign to persuade Weisselberg to testify against Trump.

The former Trump Organization chief financial officer, who was recently released from the Rikers Island jail complex, has refused to go against Trump, but prosecutors have warned his attorneys that they might bring a perjury charge against him if he declines to testify, two of the sources said.


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